Theme & Variations


Theme & Variations introduces a new topic each week, presenting a wide range of music associated with that theme. Drawn from a millennium of Western classical music, the selections are an eclectic mix of familiar favorites and rarities. Theme and Variations is produced locally in Discover Classical's studios by host Joe Law.


This week, you’ll hear five popular pieces of music that overcame a rocky first performance. The (temporarily) unlucky composers are Edward Elgar, Giacomo Puccini, Johann Strauss II, P. I. Tchaikovsky and Richard Wagner.



It’s not unusual to find a piece of music based on a specific literary work (e.g., The Sorcerer’s Apprentice), but week you’ll hear ’s music inspired by—or named for—more general literary forms. The composers represented are Samuel Barber, Gerald Finzi, Vincent Persichetti, Carl Reinecke, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Robert Schumann, Alexander Scriabin, Caroline Shaw, Igor Stravinsky.